Actually, I am constantly thinking bad things about my faith and my God. I do not feel motivated to ask for forgiveness or to do any acts of worship. I know I should not lose hope, but even that has depressed me for I read that losing hope is akin to shirk…which leads to hell. I have become lazy, I am always late for prayer, and I feel no desire to fast or do dhikr. I can’t wait to menstruate so I do not have to pray.
I do not want to live but do not want to die either. I feel hopeless and helpless, yet somehow I am filled with arrogance and probably hypocrisy, too. I feel like it’s not fair even though I know that is a childish thought.
I also fear that my being this way and having these thoughts will negatively impact my children. How can I teach them Islam when I am filled with doubt and other bad feelings and thoughts? What can I do?
I feel like I need some counseling, but there are no Muslim counselors here. Either I can talk to an imam, who cannot give me what I need, or a non-Muslim counselor. I do not want a ”make du`aa, pray on time etc. and you will be fixed” answer because I believe I need to get to the root of my problem so I can fix it from there instead of just band-aiding it. Otherwise, it will just happen again.
I need to know why I started thinking like this.
In this counseling answer:
• Make dua that you start to love obeying Allah, make dua that you value Allah.
• The thoughts that you are currently having are a blessing from Allah. They should help you realize that you need to continue to work hard towards attaining Allah’s pleasure and not get distracted.
• Although your prayers feel empty, do not abandon them. Slowly but surely, with a change in your mindset and thought process, you will begin to love it.
• After every prayer, sit there for at least once a day for 10 minutes and just feel peaceful. I am certain that simply sitting in a space set up for prayer will give you peace.
• Please check out our one to one online counseling service. It would be a huge help for you.
Assalamu Alaikum dear sister,
Dear sister, do not simply make dua to pray on time. Make dua that Allah enlightens your heart with love for Him, and with a yearning to meet Him and see.
Dear sister, in Muntakhab Hadith, the Prophet SAW said that in comparison to the afterlife, this world is meaningless.
Dear sister, do not make prayer seem like a routine, which will make it seem like a chore of this world. Make dua that you start to love obeying Allah, make dua that you value Allah.
The way you are currently feeling is normal for everyone to feel. Imagine this. The Prophet Muhammed SAW would stand in prayers at night for hours until his feet swelled. Why? He knew he would be in paradise, but he continued to pray to Allah so that Allah SWT can have mercy on him. He wanted to thank Allah for guidance and for the blessings.
In addition, if you take a look in some of the books of supplications, you will notice that the Prophet SAW made many supplications to Allah SWT in which he asked Allah to guide him, the protect him from the hellfire, to protect from sinning, to protect from the evil, etc., etc.. (Book: Fortress of the Muslim)
Why do you think he did this? Why did the Prophet SAW, of all the people, fear sinning?
Because after all, he was a human. Why did the Prophet SAW fear the hell? He saw the heaven; he saw what none of the prophets have seen before him. However, despite this, he feared. He feared and loved Allah. This is the special relationship we should have with Allah SWT.
Dear sister, the thoughts that you are currently having are a blessing from Allah. They should help you realize that you need to continue to work hard towards attaining Allah’s pleasure and not get distracted. Remember, hopelessness is a sin. Never in the Quran has Allah SWT asked to be fearing what he can give us.
For example, in the Quran, Allah SWT says,
And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus, does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided. (Quran 3: 103)
We are constantly told in the Quran to be grateful, to be kind, and to be holding on to the rope of Allah.
Dear sister, negativity is never from Allah. Please remind yourself of this every single hour. Remember the story of Yunus AS. He was in the depth of the belly of a whale. Hopeless, far away, in darkness, and on the verge of death. Even in such a situation, what did Yunus AS do? He called to Allah. He called and asked Allah SWT to forgive him, as Allah is the One who forgives, and he humbled himself in front of Allah and asked Allah to forgive him as he is the one who makes mistakes.
Dear sister, do not make prayer a routine. It is not a routine. It is a special conversation with you and Allah. The quality of your prayer is the extent of your closeness in relationship with Him SWT. Imagine you meet a very good friend of yours. Do you spend simply two minutes talking to her in a hurry and without any emotion and feelings? Then why do we tend to not strengthen our relationship with Allah?
We must think about Him all the time, in everything we do. We must not let our minds play trick on us and be led astray by the devil. It is inevitable and it is bound to happen, we are only humans. Hence, we must be consistent in humbling ourselves in front of Allah and crying for his guidance.
Where Do Your Thoughts Come From?
Dear sister, do not think about the thoughts, think about yourself and Allah. Where did you come from? Where are you going? Who has gotten you through the worst of times? Who has given you everything you own?
Dear sister, my most important advice to you is to busy yourself in the dhikr.
Do not think about anything else. Here are the steps I want you to take to strengthen your relationship with Allah.
Pick a clean room in your home, or a clean spot. (by the window in a room, in a corner by your bed, etc.,) Spread the prayer mat there, put some musk on the mat, and put the dhikr beads on it, and get a small stand for the Quran.
Sit there every day for at least once a day for 10 minutes and just feel peaceful. I am certain that simply sitting in a space set up for prayer will give you peace.
Then say SubhanAllah 33 times, Allahu akbar 33 times, la ilaha illallah 33 times.
Sit there and think of all the hard times you had, good times, impossible days.
Sit there and feel grateful.
Do not stress about praying becoming a chore. Although your prayers feel empty, do not abandon them. Slowly but surely, with a change in your mindset and thought process, you will begin to love it.
Editor’s note: Sister, please read more about Allah, how He is All-Merciful, how He is the Lord of the Judgment Day. Read more about how believers should live between the hope and „fear” (or I would say rather consciousness) of Allah.
I feel you need a helping hand. Someone who can give you a continuous support for some period, at least. Therefore, the best for you would be to have one of our Muslim counselors online who could give you this. Please check out our one to one online counseling service. It would be a huge help for you, inshallah!)